Court battle between Watchstone and former CEO takes new twist

Proposed counterclaim described as meritless

Court battle between Watchstone and former CEO takes new twist

Insurance News

By Terry Gangcuangco

Watchstone Group may have left its Quindell past with the insurance company’s renaming a few years ago, but it looks like it will have to deal with former chairman and group chief executive Robert Terry a little bit longer. Here we bring you the latest on the ongoing legal battle between the two.         

Currently the opposing sides are in the middle of High Court proceedings over the alleged breach by Terry and others of the share purchase agreement (SPA) involving shares in Watchstone Limited (WL). Now the defendants want to bring a £14.7 million counterclaim, which Watchstone’s camp described as without merit.

“Although the proposed counterclaim is materially lacking in detail, in essence it appears to be a claim in negligent misrepresentation arising out of a tax indemnity that Mr Terry says the company’s subsidiary WL granted to him orally in 2011,” explained the group in a statement.

“Mr Terry alleges that, in 2013, at and around the time when WL paid approximately £3.1 million to Mr Terry (the then chairman and group chief executive) in respect of personal tax liabilities arising as a result of the disposal of shares in WL in 2011 pursuant to the oral indemnity, the company expressly (and by conduct) made false representations that it would not challenge the validity of the oral indemnity and would not seek to recover any amount paid under the oral indemnity, including under the SPA.”

Now, as indicated by the counterclaim application, the ex-Quindell boss is saying that the representations made him not seek to offload approximately 22.59% of his then shareholding between January and March 2013.

Terry claims the sale would have yielded some £20 million at the time but instead he lost around £14.7 million by eventually selling between November 2014 and January 2015 shortly after his departure from the business.

“The company’s solicitors have written to the defendants’ solicitors to identify deficiencies in the proposed counterclaim,” noted Watchstone, without outlining further details. “If it is maintained (in its current form or otherwise) the company intends to defend it vigorously and to continue with the SPA proceedings.”


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